The second day of the 2021 NFL Draft was filled with even more drama and intrigue than the opening round. It included a run of quarterbacks to close Round 2 and open the third round.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets got Zach Wilson a shiny new toy at wide receiver while the Minnesota Vikings dominated their competition with four stellar third-round selections.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Las Vegas Raiders continued to struggle through the annual event while the Cincinnati Bengals made one questionable selection.
These are among the winners and losers from Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Winner: New York Jets get electric receiving threat
We’re glad the Jets didn’t overthink it a the top of Round 2. Rumors persisted leading up to the start of action Friday that New York was considering trading down from the 34th pick. To an extent, it makes sense given that other squads were willing to pay a premium to move up. On the other hand, nabbing a first-round talent to pair with what they did Thursday night made more sense.
In the process, general manager Joe Douglas nabbed a perfect scheme fit in 5-foot-8 slot receiver Elijah Moore from Mississippi. Moore tallied 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in just eight games last season alone. He’s going to be a huge asset for rookie No. 2 pick Zach Wilson and the New York Jets. Moore was our 28th-ranked prospect leading up to the draft.
Loser: Questionable second-round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati needed to find more offensive line help in front of franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. That much is known. Unfortunately, Zac Taylor and Co. reached big time for Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman with the 46th pick in the NFL Draft. It’s not that Carman can’t be a good player at this level. Rather, it’s all about Taylor noting that the former Tigers standout will compete for a starting guard job as a rookie.
ESPN has Carman as the 78th-best player in the draft. He went ahead of higher-ranked offensive tackle prospects in Texas’ Samuel Cosmi and Dillon Radunz from North Dakota State. It just doesn’t seem like the Bengals got much value with this pick in comparison to those who went after Carman.
Winner: Cleveland Browns continue to do their thing
One day after picking up stud cornerback Greg Newsome II late in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Browns found more value at a need position in Round 2. That came in the form of former Notre Dame star linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with the 52nd overall pick. He was among our top players remaining on the board and the No. 17 overall player heading into the annual event.
A sideline-to-sideline beast with a tremendous knack for the ball and plus-level coverage skills, Owusu-Koramoah could slide in as an immediate starter at the weakside or at middle linebacker spot.
Loser: Houston Texans
We get it. The Deshaun Watson trade request and ensuing legal troubles put these Texans in an awkward position heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Without a pick in the first two rounds following the mess that was Bill O’Brien’s tenure, that was magnified further. It’s just not a great situation for new general manager Nick Caserio to be in.
With that said, selecting a greenish quarterback in Davis Mills at the top of Round 3 made absolutely no sense. The Stanford product started all of 11 games during his college career. And while the upside exists, he’s nowhere near ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. This could have also been a tell as it relates to Watson’s future with the Texans.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs find value at need positions
Without a first-round selection stemming from the blockbuster trade for Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr., the two-time defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs did some major work in Round 2. First off, Kansas City nabbed a multi-dimensional linebacker in former Missouri star Nick Bolton. He fills a need after the Chiefs lost starting linebacker Damien Wilson in free agency.
Then, with their second pick in Round 2, the Chiefs nabbed a first-round talent in former Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. We’re talking about a dude who dominated competition in the Big 12 and can play multiple interior line positions. This puts a wrap on an offseason that saw the Chiefs upgrade big time on the offensive line with Brown Jr., Joe Thuney and Kyle Long. Yeah, general manager Brett Veach did some major work in Round 2.
Loser: Las Vegas Raiders
For the second consecutive day to open the 2021 NFL Draft, these Raiders bombed out big time. With rumors swirling about general manager Mike Mayock’s future in Las Vegas, things started out swimmingly Friday evening. That included the Raiders picking up stud safety Trevon Moehrig in a trade up with the San Francisco 49ers in the second round. We had him as a first-round prospect. Well done, Raiders.
After that, it was an unmitigated disaster. The Raiders reached for Buffalo EDGE rusher Malcolm Koonce at 79. He was ESPN’s 191st-ranked player. They then doubled down at safety with Virginia Tech’s Divine Deablo one selection later. The four-letter network had him outside of the top 200. The Raiders know they’ve reached for players in the past. Friday’s action in Cleveland was no different.
Winner: Minnesota Vikings are good at this NFL Draft thing
Thursday night saw the Vikings trade from the 14th pick to 23 overall while landing stud offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech. He was ESPN’s 20th overall player heading into the draft and fills a need after Minnesota moved off Riley Reiff. Even then, it’s what the Vikings were able to do Friday evening that has to be seen as a major win for the organization.
With their four third-round picks, the Vikings addressed quarterback in former Texas A&M stud Kellen Mond. He could very well be the heir-apparent to Kirk Cousins moving forward. Minnesota was then able to add a high-upside linebacker Chazz Surratt from North Carolina before nabbing value later in the third round in that of guard Wyatt Davis and edge rusher Patrick Jones. Man, the Vikings did some work Friday night during the NFL Draft.
Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars, all ACL club
And the 2021 NFL Draft started out so promising for general manager Trent Baalke and the Jaguars. They added former Clemson teammates, quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, in Round 1. This had fans in Duval excited about the future under first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
This came to a screeching halt with the Jaguars’ final two selections on Friday evening. After adding a stud corner in Tyson Campbell with the first pick in Round 2, Jacksonville went with two players who have had ACL tears in their recent past. That included former Stanford tackle Walker Little at 45 overall and Syracuse safety Andre Cisco in Round 3.
This wouldn’t normally be a big deal. That’s until we realize the latter years of Baalke’s tenure with the San Francisco 49ers were defined by him missing on projects who were coming off ACL injuries. Hopefully, this works out for the Jags.